Thursday, August 29, 2019

Dalmore 12 & Jura 10 Whisky Tasting @ Tiamo, Hilton Conrad, Bengaluru

 Tiamo, the open to sky Italian and Mediterranean restaurant at the Hilton- Conrad, Bengaluru was host to Dalmore and Jura’s whisky tasting session earlier this week.

Overlooking the infinity pool surrounded with nicely lit plants, cabanas and with soft music in the background, Tiamo provided the right ambience for the evening. Bengaluru’s famous weather too played its part in being a perfect host. There was a light breeze blowing throughout the evening with the occasional drizzle that encouraged you to reach out for your malt and soak in the complete experience.

We were welcomed to an informal setting where we could stand comfortably and move around meeting and interacting with malt lovers and select members of SMAC, Single Malt Amateurs Club. The evening brought together whisky enthusiasts  from different backgrounds to help share their experiences and tasting notes with each other.

John Barr with Rosemary syrup
and a slice of orange.

 The evening started of with a John Barr based cocktail to possibly announce the launch of John Barr in the Indian market.

The John Barr blend was created for the UK market in the 1970's to imitate the then withdrawn Johnnie Walker Red Label. However, more than four decades later the John Barr Black still has very strong candid resemblances to the Johnnie Walker Black label bottle.

Quoting Sumedh Mandla, CEO of VBev, India on the John Barr’s launch in India, “We are very excited in bringing a great scotch blend to India, especially the current price point.” John Barr retails at about INR 2650 in a few markets

As the evening gathered momentum, we began the tasting of an expression each of the both the malts starting with the Dalmore 12 and followed by the Jura 10.

The Dalmore distillery is located in Alness, Scotland, which is 20 miles  north of Inverness that sits on the banks of the Cromarty Firth overlooking the Black Isle, The Dalmore distillery is owned and operated by Whyte & Mackay. 

Dalmore 12 is aged for the first nine years in American white oak ex-bourbon casks, before half is transferred to ex-Oloroso sherry casks for the final three years. The result is a whisky with a combination of sweetness and rich, sherry flavors.

The Dalmore has a reddish orange hue with a fruity aroma and a little spice. Steve, the global brand ambassador of Whyte & Mackay said it tastes like drinking the whisky in a warehouse. This expression definitely is much drier on the palate as compared to the aroma.

Tasting Notes:

Aroma: Orange, dark plums & chocolate.
Taste: Citrus, Christmas cake, coffee, cinnamon.
Finish: Orange, vanilla, plums, cinnamon.

The glasses were SMAC on!

The Jura 10 was the next part of our tasting journey experience.

Jura distillery is a Scotch whisky distillery on the island of Jura in the inner Hebrides off the West coast of Scotland. Jura 10 is a part of the new core range of whiskies launched by Isle of Jura in early 2018. It's initially aged in American white oak bourbon barrels before enjoying a finishing period in Oloroso sherry butts.

Tasting Notes:
Nose: Honeyed barley and peaches in syrup, with lightly smoky
Palate: Subtly spicy followed by a fruity
Finish: Dark chocolate and a touch of smoke rounds things off.

Comparing both expressions most of the people around seemed to be enjoying their Dalmore while I personally enjoyed sipping my Jura through the evening.

While Vbev and SMAC ensured we had a spirited evening, the hotel put up their best in ensuring our stomachs were adequately lined for the malts that were to follow. The finger foods included fried chicken, mutton galouti kabab, baos, cheese rolls, bruschettas and many more. My personal favourite was Arancini.

Kudos to SMAC and the hotel team for putting this together for Bengaluru.

Steve Brand Ambassador Whyte & Mackay &
Hemanth Rao - Co-founder SMAC

Steve with Yash -Brand ambassador Paul John,
Kuldeep Dhawan - General Manager ITC Hotels
Sudesh Pai - Hospitality Professional

Friday, August 23, 2019

WelcomTheatre Goodness Gracious Me @ ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru

Laughter is the best medicine and when ITC Hotels Bengaluru invites you to a theatrical delight, Goodness, Gracious Me directed by Aamir Raza Husain, you cannot refuse. Personally it was nostalgic for me as I was seeing Aamir perform live after almost 24 years the last being the "Legend of Ram" in Mumbai against the backdrop of the erstwhile Welcomgroup Searock Sheraton.

The one set comedy was in the doctor’s common room in a hospital and has you in splits right through the act. It keeps you guessing on what next.
The theatrical performance was preceded with cocktails and delectable short and comfort eats that kept us satiated through the evening.

Folks on our table really enjoyed the Bibimbap, sometimes romanized as bi bim bap or bi bim bop, is a Korean rice dish. The term “bibim” means mixing various ingredients, while the “bap” noun refers to rice. Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul or kimchi and gochujang, soy sauce, or doenjang.
Many of the diners were also queing for the Chola -Kulcha.. It is one of the most popular street food of north india specially in Delhi and Amritsar. Kulcha is a flat bread made without using yeast. I personally enjoy my chole with diced onion, lemon juice and a green chilli.

Channa Kulcha



On sets with Aamir Raza Hussain
A very enjoyable and entertaining evening. Thanking the hosts for the evening Amaan Kidwai & Kuldeep Dhawan.


Nadodi Pop Up @ Conrad Bengaluru

At Nadodi- KL, you have the opportunity of experiencing traditional food from the southern lands of the Indian sub-continent - Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka with a modern twist. 

I completely agree when they say We harness completely contemporary techniques and retrofit an age old traditional recipe with modernity. This can result in surprising discoveries and an absolutely fresh perspective on familiar cuisine tropes that must be experienced and savoured to be believed.”

So when we heard that Team Nadodi was doing a Pop-up at the Conrad Bangalore, we grabbed the opportunity to experience the culinary delight in our very own namma Benguluru.

Bisibelabath & Curd rice

Mushroom Masala

Smoked Salmon infused gin with
fennel-basil distillate Vodka

Comfortably settled and seated at our table we started our 11-mile journey. First on our table was a combination of Curd rice – rice crisps sprinkled with curd powder and tempered with mustard seeds. Bisibelabath – small dumplings sprinkled with sambar powder and finally Mushroom masala that was served in small cups. 
This was complimented by a very refreshing cocktail – Smoked Salmon infused tanquery gin with fennel-basil distillate in Ketel One Vodka.

Jackfruit seed Pie Tie &
Chicken Chettinad Burger

Sambar Icecream along with
Caviar & Kalaki
On the second mile, we were served a Jackfruit seed Pie Tie which was refreshing and crunchy – nice textures, Chicken Chettinad burger that was a mini chicken patty served in between macaroons, Sambar ice-cream that had a hint of sambar in a cone that was so cute. The Caviar and Kalaki was interesting, something that I ate for the first time. This course was paired with Pierre Delize Mousseux Blanc de Blancs.

On mile 3 and 4, on our table was an interesting serving of King Crab, river prawns and daikon paired with a nice Rose. This was followed up with Scallops with raw mango curry.  Both mile 3 & 4 with paired with a nice Rose. 

Alaskan King Crab with River Prawn

Scallops with Raw Mango

The Wolftrap, Rose

At the 5th mile, we were in for a treat with Red Beet. This dish had 4 forms of beet that included a kind of mini sorbet. We also got a little break to rekindle our appetites. I like sweetness and the soft ice that came with this dish.

Red Beet

Akshar the mixologist joined us at our table and was talking about the our experiences and  recommended  the Drumstick Cocktail. I really loved the moringa flavoured vodka with tonic. 

 With Askhar from Nandodi.

The Drumstick Vodka Tonic
 Akshar then took us through the journey with one of his specialities...Nandodi Rasam. This was rasam served with Vodka and topped with hot foam. An amazing experience of a chilled vodka and warm foam coming through at the same time. My fried on the table loved it so much, said he could drink this all night. 

Nandodi Rasan

Nandodi Rasan with the foam

Mile 7 we went head on with the fish head curry served with king fish and topped with crisp strips of red cabbage. This was really nice and enjoyed the course but felt the temperature at which it was served could have been higher. It probably turned cold during service. 

Fish Head Curry

This was followed by the " Humble Broth" which was strips of chicken served in rasam which was made with the first press of tomato which gave it a nice subtle flavour. 

Humble broth
From the time I read the menu I was waiting for this milestone - No 9. Lamb & Habanero. I simply loved the lamb. the meat was juicy, tender and full of flavour. It was paired was a lovely Pont Du Rhone. We inquired on the source of the lamb and found out that with was sourced from New Zealand.

Lamb & Habanero

Cruising into our course no 10 with the end to our evening coming in sight, we were served Nadodi Glob with was a Lobster truffle sodhi served on passion fruit sambol along with red rice spring hoppers. Again a fantastic dish.

Nadodi Globe
We ended our gourmet delight with Mind of a coconut which was Pradhaman Ice cream served along with palkova and coffee. I personally enjoyed the pradhaman ice cream.

Mind of a Coconut

Chocolate with sompapdi

Two sides to a coin: While we had a fantastic gourmet experience, the over all service was extremely slow. It was slow to the extent that the entire experience was getting disjointed with long wait times. A meal that should have been completed in around two hours lasted over four hours.

On a lighter note, one of the hotel personal came over to our table and said the delay is because the chef's are making the dishes a-la-minute, I felt like responding it seems more like a-la-hour (ghanta).

Secondly, a message to the hotel management. They seemed to have been hosting a PR event during this evening but the whole restaurant seemed to have been converted  into a private party making the place very loud and intrusive leaving scant respect for paying customers like us. Needless to say our table was given the last priority on being served. The lady waiting our table was excellent and the delay was more because of focus / mis-focus elsewhere. One left the hotel wondering if it was worth the high cover charge paid for the evening.

Thanking Chef Sricharan alumni of WGSHA and the Nadodi team for the gourmet delight they put up...

Autographs -Team Nadodi

with Kartick 


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Taawoon , Kothnur, Bengaluru

Taawoon, I heard about the place and decided to have an early meal at the restaurant. Interestingly, it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 While their facebook page talks of “The pleasure of the sea on your plate” and believe they are primarily a seafood restaurant but soon enough, with a glance through their menu you would like to opt for their Kerala cuisine.
As soon as we were seated, we were given a welcome drink – Blue Lime, a mocktail of Blue Curacao and fresh lime juice. 

Our order includes Kunjan Kozhi, a fried chicken and the sautéed in onions, curry leaves red chilli etc. This was served hot and crisp from the outside but succulent from inside. I would have preferred it to be boneless. This was followed by vegetable stew and appams. Overall a good meal.

Kunjan Kozi


Vegetable Stew
The ambiance in nice and bright and the service crew attentive and welcoming. A special call out to Thomas who was waiting at our table.
I would definitely like to go back to try the breakfast  - 19 dishes for 199/-.

<a href="" title="View Menu, Reviews, Photos & Information about Taawoon Restaurant, Hennur and other Restaurants in Bengaluru" target="_blank"><img alt="Taawoon Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato" src="" style="border:none;width:104px;height:34px;padding:0px;" /></a> #diningtales

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Bar Bar - Whitefield Bangalore

Braving a rainy day that cascaded into a traffic nightmare in the evening that resulted in a two hour drive to reach the restaurant, I was at many points tempted to abandon the drive and head back home but being stuck in the middle of traffic did not allow me  to change my mind.

A little exhausted from the drive, we walked in to the bright and cheerful bar and were comfortably seated indoors. We chose indoors as it was slightly windy out in the open, which otherwise, would have been my obvious choice.

We started our experience with the mocktails below:
Melon Mule

Virgin Nujito
Melon Mule – A mix of ginger ale and water melon. Nice but I just felt the water melon was overpowering the ginger ale and I would have preferred more zing of the ginger ale.

We also ordered the Virgin Nujito- a refreshing drink.  

Starters we had the Tandoori Jhinga – Absolutely the dish of the day nicely flavored and smoked to perfection. This was followed by Onion Rings that were served hot and crisp with a dip. The rings had a tough act to follow.
Tandoori Jhinga
Onion Rings

We stayed away from the recommended thin crust pizzas, burgers etc and chose the Chicken Biryani instead. The biryani was good with succulent pieces of chicken. I loved the flavor of fried onions coming through with the rice. I must say the unsung hero was the mixed raita. Absolutely fresh, chilled and refreshing.
Chicken Biryani

To end we ordered the Baked New York Cheese cake which was nice, not too heavy, loved the presentation.
New York Cheese Cake

The service at our table was excellent, whether it was suggesting options from the menu to the service we received or just some assistance when you needed it. Calling out Akash ably supported by Ranjan. 

This resto-bar you can visit Bar Bar.

Bar Bar is located Level 2, Phoenix Market city, Whitefield, Banaglore, Karnataka 560048

#diningtales #bar #prawns

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